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"These are distinctly frightening times-especially for those of us who believe judicial elections should be different from other elections and that it is important to maintain both the appearance and actuality of impartial justice."
Rick Hasen and Dahlia Lithwick
 

Press Releases

February 5, 2016

The Washington, D.C.-based Judicial Crisis Network has booked television ad contracts totaling $76,555 to air ahead of Arkansas’ Supreme Court race, according to an analysis of public FCC records by Justice at Stake.

February 5, 2016

The television air wars are heating up ahead of Wisconsin’s February 16 Supreme Court primary, as Judge Joanne Kloppenburg’s campaign has signed contracts for at least $24,930 in TV advertising.  The ads are set to begin airing February 6 in Milwaukee, according to an analysis of public FCC records by Justice at Stake.

February 4, 2016

Justice at Stake Interim Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement in reaction to today’s Kansas House vote rejecting a proposal to change the way Kansas Supreme Court justices are chosen, from a merit selection process to a Washington-style process of gubernatorial appointment with Senate confirmation:


February 3, 2016

Television ad contracts nearing $68,000 have been booked by a candidate in Arkansas’ Supreme Court race according to an analysis of public FCC records by Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice.

February 3, 2016

conservative interest group has started running issue ads in the primary race to fill a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The group, the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform, has booked contracts totaling $234,660, according to an analysis of public FCC records by Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice.


January 28, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 28 --Justice at Stake Interim Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement today regarding the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Wolfson v. Concannon:

January 13, 2016

Washington, D.C., January 13 – In response to a statement by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback in his January 12, 2016, State of the State address, Justice at Stake Director of State Affairs Debra Erenberg issued the following statement.

January 5, 2016

Washington, D.C., January 5 – The Justice at Stake Board of Directors is honored and pleased to announce that following a nationwide search, Susan M. Liss has been selected to assume the role of Executive Director of Justice at Stake.

December 7, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 8 – In a case involving an elected Pennsylvania judge who campaigned for office as tough on crime, Justice at Stake has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to find that a death row inmate was denied his fair day in court.

November 6, 2015

A post-Election Day tally of documented spending in Pennsylvania’s 2015 Supreme Court race shows  total spending rose to  $16,536,492,  further surpassing the previous national record for a Supreme Court race,  according to an analysis of state disclosures and television advertising by the nonpartisan organizations Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice. 

November 5, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 5  - Justice at Stake Interim Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement today on the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan:
 

November 3, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. November 3  - Pennsylvania’s superheated Supreme Court election has broken the previous documented national spending record for any state Supreme Court race, even as spending figures continue to roll in.
 

October 28, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. –October 29, 2015 - Special interest groups spent a record-high 29 percent of total spending in state judicial races in the 2013-14 election cycle, according to a new report by Justice at Stake, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

 

October 27, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. October 27 - Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court election has already set records for candidate fundraising, overall spending, and total television airtime spending, with a week remaining before voters fill three open seats on the court, according to an analysis of state disclosures and television advertising by the nonpartisan organizations Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice.

 

October 21, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. October 21  - Two independent groups, The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) and Pennsylvanians for Judicial Reform, are now embroiled in an  ad war in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court election.  The RSLC, a national group that was also a top multi-state spender in 2014’s state Supreme Court elections, today announced that it had launched “a two-week, multi-platform ad campaign with an initial investment of more than $1 million” in the race.
 

October 20, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 20 - Justice at Stake Interim Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement today, after legislation reforming Pennsylvania’s expensive, partisan appellate court judicial elections passed the House Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support.

October 16, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. October 16  - A group funded mainly by plaintiff trial lawyers started running television ads this week opposing the Republican candidates for the three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, according to a search of publicly available Federal Communications Commission records by the nonpartisan organizations Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice. Pennsylvanians for Judicial Reform purchased contracts for $56,320 at three stations.
 

October 5, 2015

The first television ads in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court general election will begin airing October 6, 2015 in Pittsburgh,  according to a search of publicly available Federal Communications Commission records by the nonpartisan organizations Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice

September 23, 2015

Justice at Stake Interim Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement today, in response to a newly-released Reuters investigation suggesting that state Supreme Court justices who must face election are more likely than appointed justices to uphold death sentences on appeal.

September 3, 2015

  WASHINGTON, D.C., September 3 - Justice at Stake Interim Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement today, after a Kansas judge ruled that a 2014 law stripping the Kansas Supreme Court of certain personnel authority over lower state courts was unconstitutional, and did not address a non-severability clause that linked funding for the entire state court system to the law. 

August 5, 2015

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Justice at Stake Executive Director Bert Brandenburg issued the following statement: “Ever since the fight for voting rights entered a new era with the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, state and federal courts have become central to defining and protecting this right.  And state courts are increasingly called on to decide key voting rights cases including the constitutionality of state voter ID laws, redistricting proposals accused of being discriminatory, and other measures affecting voting rights.  With so much at stake, it is critical that these courts remain fair and impartial.  Justice at Stake is dedicated to reforms that will keep money, politics and partisan pressure out of the courts.”

July 1, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1 - In response to reports that some Oklahoma state legislators are threatening to file articles of impeachment against seven state Supreme Court justices, Justice at Stake Deputy Executive Director Liz Seaton issued the following statement:  


June 26, 2015

 WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26 - Justice at Stake Executive Director Bert Brandenburg issued the following statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in Obergefell v. Hodges: 

June 15, 2015

Justice at Stake recently joined four other fair courts advocacy organizations in signing a brief to the Ninth U.S. Circuit of Appeals in the case of Wolfson v. Concannon, asking the court to uphold rules from the Arizona Code of Judicial Ethics limiting partisan political activity by sitting judges and judicial candidates.

May 29, 2015

The Justice at Stake Board of Directors announced today that Bert Brandenburg, Justice at Stake’s executive director since 2004, will leave the organization in mid-August to become president of Appleseed, a national network of public interest law centers. Liz Seaton, an attorney and Justice at Stake’s deputy executive director, will become interim executive director of Justice at Stake (JAS) later this summer. 

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